Zen of Product Management – Article 1

To control or to guide…


A wise man once told me, everything in the universe is exactly as it should be, in fact, is has no choice to be any other way because all the conditions were in place for it to be such. I spent two years thinking about this statement – one that he would say to me over and over again. Dr. Vincent Parr has a Ph.D. in psychology and is a devote student of Rational Theory. He was the one that shared this one simple statement with me and I now share it with you.


Thinking about your portfolio, if it under performs, it wasn’t bad luck nor was it someone’s fault – it had no choice but to under perform because all the conditions were present for it to do so. When I tried to rationalize this idea with what I knew to be “true” I could not. After all, we all know that hundreds, sometimes thousands of people need to work together in order to deliver a successful product offering to market and sometimes, only one failure on the part of one person could result in poor performance or outright failure. The art, the Zen of Product Management is, understanding the nature of the things that make up your portfolio: the materials, the design, the people and the delivery channel. Once you understand these things you can work to improve them, to guide them into a structure that presents the conditions for success.


In this series of articles, I will explain how to combine the traditional processes of New Product Development with the concepts of rational theory and Zen. For those of you that are interested, I recommend reading the following book – it inspired me and I hope it inspires you as well.


Buddhism Is Not What You Think

Steve Hagen

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